If you are starting a new Minecraft World, whether a beginner starting their very first world or an experienced player starting a new world, we all will start off the same, with nothing in our inventory and running around punching trees. The major things you need to survive the early game portion of Minecraft include food, fuel, a bed, and tools.
Fuel helps you cook food and smelt ores in the furnace. Some fuel is better than others, however, getting started out you will need to rely on whatever you can get your hands on. Some of the best early game fuel include, Wood, Charcoal, Coal, Rotten Flesh, and Wooden Tools.
The Importance of Fuel in Minecraft
Fuel are resources you put into a furnace to either cook, smelt ores, make glass, and other items. There are a wide variety of fuel sources in Minecraft, some are easier to get than others. However, you will need fuel throughout the entire game of Minecraft if you want to keep advancing.
Best Early Game Fuel
There are some fuel sources that are much easier to get your hands on in the beginning. These sources are not the best fuel sources in the game, but are easy to access and will help you make it through the early game portion of your Minecraft world. These sources include, Wood, Charcoal, Coal, and Wooden Tools. I describe each below in more detail.
Many sources claim that Rotten Flesh can be used for fuel, while this would be a great early game fuel source it is not correct. There are some data packs that let you smelt rotten flesh down for leather, but if you are playing regular Minecraft without any mods or data packs, then rotten flesh is almost useless. I wrote this article that lays out all the uses for Rotten Flesh in Minecraft.
Wood is the first thing everyone needs to get in Minecraft. Most players start off running to the first tree they can find to punch it down and get some logs. Any type of log, whether its oak, birch, jungle, or mangrove, they all work the same. Throw a log into the furnace you can start cooking or smelting to help you level up your game. One log can be used to cook or smelt one item.
If you are looking for a good early food source that does not require fuel, you will want to start growing wheat so you can craft some bread. Bread is very filling and also can help you save fuel by providing an alternative food source that won’t use up the small amount of fuel you have during the first few days of your new Minecraft world. I wrote this article to help you learn how to grow wheat faster and more efficiently, and this article to explain how wheat works and when to harvest.
Charcoal is a by product of burning logs and is a bit more efficient that logs alone. You can also use charcoal to make torches which are essential to lighting up caves to keep mobs away or lighting up your base’s surroundings to make it safer at night. You also will need torches around your farms if you want your crops to grow during the night when you are down in the caves mining for ores.
You can get charcoal by burning a log using another log. You won’t want to use coal to make charcoal because they are equally as efficient and it would be a waste of coal to do so.
Tip: Charcoal is eight times more efficient than logs, to get the most out of your logs obtain early game fuel in the following order. 1. Burn one log with another log, you will obtain one charcoal. 2. Use the one charcoal to burn the rest of your logs which will result in eight charcoal. 3. Continue making as much charcoal as you need to get a more efficient fuel source than logs alone.
Coal is one of the first ores most Minecraft players will find when going mining for the first time. You can often find coal at the surface level and avoid going into the depths of the caves with all the mobs that are out to get you. Coal is just as efficient as charcoal, however, when you mine coal you will receive experience which you do not receive with by making charcoal.
Coal has very similar properties as charcoal. It is eight times more efficient than burning logs, and can be used to make torches. Coal is an easy fuel source to find and most players end up with a large amount after spending a short time mining.
If you are first starting out, you likely made yourself a nice set of wooden tools before advancing up to stone tools. Rather than using those wooden tools until they break, you can use them as fuel if you start to run low on other fuel sources. Most players end up ditching their wooden tools quite quickly after getting cobblestone and upgrading to stone tools. Wooden tools are the least efficient tools you can have and make essential tasks take way too long. Using your old wooden tools to make some food or smelt an ore can be more useful than using those wooden tools until they break.